Posts Tagged ‘Worry’

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.  Keep in the sunlight.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Talking somebody down from the wall of worry is not an easy task. To do so you must deftly skirt accusations like “you just don’t understand” and “you’re not hearing me” while reassuring, distracting and refocusing attention on what can be done here and now.

Troubles are fed by the attention you pay to them. Wise is the person who understands the scope of his problems without succumbing to the temptation to fixate on them. Problems are resolved with solutions, not worries.

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” ~ Mark Twain

One of the silliest things you can worry about are those things which you have no control over or any means of influencing. They are what they are and stressing about them will only drain the very battery you will draw upon to handle the challenges that pass through your sphere of influence.

If you have a list of worries, take the time to cross out those about which you can do nothing. Next to those crossed out write something you can handle or influence as things are now. You can either spend time worrying or moving in a productive direction. The choice is yours.

“You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.” ~ Pat Schroeder


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Photo credit: Moritz Wahl

Wumen Huikai was a 12th century Chan master who wrote many beautiful lines of verse. One of my favorites, called 10,000, delivers a poignant message:

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.

If your mind isn’t clouded
by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

What exactly are unnecessary things that cloud your mind? Maybe the better approach to take is to ask what the necessary things are. If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night, pressed on from all sides by thoughts, worries, fears and hopes, you are likely in need of a concentrated review of the necessary and unnecessary things you carry with you in your mind.

As a father, business owner and concerned citizen, there are many things on my mind. One of the ways I seek to organize those thoughts is to determine which I can do something about now and which I have absolutely no ability to change. Deliberately setting aside those which I cannot do anything about, I focus my thinking energy and my doing as well on the remaining list.

There is a Chinese proverb which says “That the birds of worry and care fly over you head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” Life is full of unknowns, uncertainty and unpredictability, but to focus on those elements is to miss an opportunity to deal with something that is ripe in your experience.

Force yourself to center your thoughts and efforts only on those things which are ready to move. It may be challenging at first, but as soon as you stop pushing everything in your world in an effort to get it to comply with your timing, you begin to rediscover the sensitivity to the invisible forces at work in your world. It is that sensitivity that makes people who are good at managing their worlds exceptional at managing their worlds.

The people around you will notice as well, for this is the key to earning the compliment “you make it look so easy.” Everything in life moves from greenness to ripeness in a cycle. Making a job change or a major shift in the business you run at the wrong time is akin to eating unripe fruit. It will leave a bad taste in your mouth and if you’ve taken it far enough, you’ll get a stomach ache.

Look to bring order to those cobwebbed corners of your consciousness that remain cluttered with unnecessary thoughts, worries and concerns and take a few minutes to sweep them out today. Write them down on a piece of paper and burn the paper if you have to…whatever it takes.

And don’t forget…have a great day!

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